Decade anniversaries have a marked way of provoking both reflection and projection. Now in its 10th year, FLOW Northside arts crawl tried to do both: reflect on its past and move forward from it–beginning with their first ever artist talk. It centered on the question of what it means to be an artist working in the community, and specifically the Northside community.
Taking place at Homewood Studios in North Minneapolis, the gathering drew some two-dozen artists and community members. One of the main goals, explained FLOW Artistic Director Dudley Voigt, was to provide an opportunity for established artists and emerging artists to be in the same space and learn from one another. “Particularly for visual artists as well as writers, for a lot of us, it can be very solitary work. And FLOW is very public, and yet it’s still solitary in the sense that the artists are spread out and they don’t get to see each others’ work.” Voigt and Homewood founder George Robert led the discussion, which included seven of FLOW’s 10 artists whose work was selected as a part of the organization’s 10-year anniversary postcard series.
Without context, Pao Her’s photographs appear to be simply portraits of U.S. veterans from the 19th century. With context, The new installation Attention at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts provokes questions about international politics and what it means to be a Hmong American who served in Vietnam.Pao Her, photographing Hmong American veterans of the Vietnam War in uniforms, medals, and ribbons they bought themselves, attempts to draw attention to their exclusion from recognition by the U.S. military. Since the war, many Hmong soldiers have immigrated to the U.S. and made their home here, but they are denied the benefits U.S. veterans receive because they were not officially a part of the U.S. military, even though the U.S. recruited and trained them to fight a civil war on our behalf.Should a government be able to recruit and train foreign soldiers without recognizing an obligation to them as veterans? Should every soldier recruited and trained by the U.S. be recognized and provided with benefits? Does this change if the soldiers are displaced when the U.S. loses? Continue Reading
Weather in Minnesota may be flirting with winter and spring at the same time, but across the Atlantic some Twin Cities ambassadors are heating things up. The occasion? The Waldoni Circus Festival in Darmstadt, Germany. The ambassadors? Charlotte Richardson-Deppe, Jenna Ober, Rabiya Sehgal-LaRocque, and Shayna Rutledge – four area high school students who are also members of Circus Juventas.The Waldoni Circus Festival is an international venue for amateur circus performers to train, perform, compete, and mingle; participants come from as far away as Asia and the Americas, often to see acts and routines that they’ve only heard of by word of mouth – and, often, to model some of them firsthand. Continue Reading
Today is Good Friday, the day Christians around the world commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion.I did not grow up Catholic, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to its iconography, its saints and the pageantry of holy days and feasts. I have a Saint Martin de Porres statue in my house. And sometimes, despite, my lack of religious devotion, I pray.My family was also not religious. In fact, my grandmother and great grandmother, both Salinan Indians from the central coast of California, viewed the Catholic church and all its Missions with a healthy dose of distrust. But, it was part of their lives…floating from background to foreground at any given time. Continue Reading
I love the idea of mashing up visual art, music and dance. Just last month I enjoyed a similar show (Stripe Tease) at the Walker. So I was thrilled to get walk-up tickets to the first of the Final Performances of In Which ____ and Others Discover the End Performance. I brought my favorite 10-year old date.There were things we liked about the show, things we didn’t like as much and things that confused us. But we talked about it the whole way home and I think that’s a win for a gallery that “encourages work that challenges the status quo in contemporary art.”We liked the art. Continue Reading